Radical media, politics and culture.


Autonomist "Workers Power" Group Forms, Alberta

We have developed a new study group Workers Power! here in Edmonton
Alberta Canada with the object of going beyond the political
limitations of syndicalism to discuss and develop a political
strategy. Members include local anarchists, marxists, and wobblies.
We have begun with a monthly meeting and review of the works of the
council communists.

We have a listserve discussion page here, which is for the use of the group and our friends and comrades who
would like to participate in a discussion with us. There we are
posting our own position papers, online texts as well as links to the

Below is our description of the project.

hydrarchist writes

"The Spaces of a Cultural Question"

E-mail interview with Brian Holmes by Marion von Osten in preparation of
"Atelier EUROPA. A small post-fordistic drama." opening at 2nd of April
2004 in the Munich Kunstverein.

Marion: You are editing the next issue of Multitudes on cultural and
creative labor. Can you explain why and out of what perspective you look
on cultural labor and creative work, i.e. do you think it is possible to
explain the inner dynamics of post-Fordist production modes due to this
specific form of work and its conditions?

Brian: Actually we have prepared what is called the "minor" of Multitudes
15 on the theme of "creativity at work." The basic notion of immaterial
labor is that the manipulation of information, but also the interplay of
affects, have become central in the contemporary working process even in
the factories, but much more so in the many forms of language-, image- and
ambiance-production. Workers can no longer be treated like Taylorist
gorillas, exploited for their purely physical force; the "spirit of the
worker" has to come down onto the factory floor, and from there it can
gain further autonomy by escaping into the flexible work situations
developing on the urban territory. These notions have made it through to
mainstream sociology, and several authors have taken artistic production
as the model for the new managerial techniques and ideologies of
contemporary capitalism, with all its inequality, self-exploitation and
exclusion. The most recent example is Pierre Menger's "Portrait de
l'artiste en travailleur" ["Portrait of the Artist as a Worker"]. We don't
see it exactly that way. Of course the individualization of innovative
work practices exposes people to flexible management; and linguistic and
affective labor is vital to the capitalist economy in terms of shaping the
mind-set in which a commodity can become desirable. But we also focus on
the real autonomy that people have gained. This is why we have devoted the
"major" of the issue to activist art practices, and the theme of "research
for the outside." We're also very interested in the ongoing struggle of
the part-time cinema and theater workers in France, concerning the special
unemployment status which they have won since 1969, which provides a
supplemental income making it possible to live an artist's life in an
efficiency-oriented capitalist society. The right-wing, neoliberal
government of Raffarin wants to dismantle this unemployment regime,
because they know that those who benefit are actively producing another
ideal of society.

Univ. Wisconsin Graduate Assistants Walk Off Job

Strike Plan Calls For Withholding Grades

Nahal Toosi,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Madison, Wisoconsin — For the first time in almost 25 years,
unionized graduate assistants at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison walked off their jobs Tuesday to
protest contract offers from the state.

The two-day walkout by the assistants — about 1,200
were asked to participate — is the first part of the
Teaching Assistants' Association's strike plan. The
assistants also plan to withhold students' grades when
the semester ends.

hydrarchist writes
The aim of this collective is to contact and organise logistics and actions
with all the militant movements in France and in Europe and to make this
initiative a success on the scale of the forces that commit themselves to
We call on all organisations to sign this document and all individuals who
agree with it to come and take part.

Knock Out in Cannes!

For an International Festival of Social Struggles in Cannes.
We are currently experiencing an acceleration of the wrecking of social
It is not a time to be resigned. The government is cynically and arrogantly
continuing to implement the social plan devised by MEDEF (the confederation
of French business).

"Theme Park Slammed For 'Ihatework' Web Site"

Some U.K. businesses are up in arms over a theme park's promotional Web
site, because they say the site encourages people to skip work, Reuters
reports on CNN's Web site. The Federation of Small Businesses, which has
more than 185,000 members, said it was unhappy with Alton Towers,
Britain's biggest theme park, which launched the Web site,
www.ihatework.co.uk. According to the group, the site — and the mid-week
discount offer it promotes — could cause some employees to blow off work.

Full story: here.

hydrarchist writes:

MAYDAY, MAYDAY!! Why Precari@s, Intermittents, Cognitari/e Are Rebelling Across NEUROPA...

Remember MAYDAY, the global holiday of workers, dear to anarchists and socialists worldwide, born in America and mummified in Russia and China, fallen in neglect in Europe as neoliberalism mounted and many unions sold out? Well, in Milano since 2001 a network of Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish media hacktivists, rank-and-file unions, self-run and squatted youth centers, critical mass bikers, radical networks, student groups, syndicalist collectives, immigrants' associations, assorted commies, greens, anarcos, gays and feminists have given life to a MAYDAY PARADE taking place in the afternoon of May 1st, whose participation and meaning has grown tremendously from 5,000 to 50,000 people, thereby triggering many urban actions and social conflicts that are spreading among young temps, partimers, freelance and contract workers, researchers and teachers, service and culture workers in Italy, France, Spain, and elsewhere across Europe.

Flying Squads and the Crisis of Workers' Self-Organization

Alex Levant

On September 7, 2000, over 100 people from the Somali community and union
supporters visited an immigration office in Toronto in defence of four families
facing deportation and waiting for decisions on their appeals to stay on
humanitarian and compassionate grounds.  Although they were confident that their appeals would be successful, they feared that they would be deported before a decision was made (a common practice for Immigration Canada).  At the families'request, an action was called to secure a commitment from the authorities that this would not happen.

hydrarchist writes:

Mayday 2004. MayDay, MayDay!

Flexworkers rebel against the precarization of life!

We are the precarious, the flexible, the temporary, the mobile. We’re the
people that live on a tightrope, in a precarious balance; we’re the
restructured and outsourced, those who lack a stable job, and those who
are overexploited; those who pay a mortgage or a rent that strangles us.
We’re forced to buy and sell our ability to love and care. We’re just like
you: contortionists of flexibility.

"Work, Value and Domination:

On the Continuing Relevance of the Marxian Labor Theory of Value
in the Crisis of the Keynesian Planner State"

Harry Cleaver

During the last decade or so, in the midst of a profound and lengthy international crisis of capitalist command, the Marxian labor theory of value has been subjected to severe critiques on both theoretical and historical grounds. The major theoretical critique — from Steedman and other Social Democrats — reformulated earlier attacks on the so-called metaphysical character of the theory and called for the abandonment of a value theory that was neither meaningful nor necessary. This attack, as others before it, has been been rejected, more or less convincingly depending on the character of the arguments, by Marxists of all stripes.

More serious than this rejection on abstract grounds, have been a series of arguments that the Marxian labor theory of value, while perhaps once pertinent for the understanding of the dynamics of capitalist development, has been rendered obsolete by the historical evolution of capital accumulation. In other words, new theory is needed to understand and fight new forms of domination which emerged out of the old dynamics of the class relationship itself. This paper analyses and responds to two of the more interesting formulations of this perspective: those of Claus Offe and Toni Negri.

"The New School's Labor War"

Tom Robbins, Village Voice

Union Wins Election Fair And Square, But Prez Kerrey Wants A Do-Over

New School University—founded by left-leaning intellectuals more than 80 years ago—is taking a page from anti-labor corporations in fighting an ongoing union-organizing battle.


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